Adam's Picks Board Game Gift Guide


Adam tends toward heavier games, harder to learn and taking longer to play. This year his list is quite balanced. You are probably very likely to find something you like on just his list alone, but make sure to come back tomorrow for my list anyway!


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Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition is an engine-building game in which players control interplanetary corporations with the goal of making Mars habitable (and profitable). A new, stand-alone game inspired by Terraforming Mars featuring faster gameplay and over 200 beautifully illustrated cards!


The original game is one of our absolute favorites. Ares Expedition gives a lighter and more compact feeling. We saw it at Target, so it is fairly easy to find and the price is great. You will definitely get that big game, little box feel from this one.

In Fort, you're a kid! And like many kids, you want to grow your circle of friends, collect pizza and toys, and build the coolest fort. By doing this cool stuff, you'll score victory points, and at the end of the game, the player with the most victory points wins! Your cards not only let you take actions on your own turn, but also let you follow the other players' actions on their turns. Will you devote yourself to your own posse, or copy what the other kids are doing? But be careful as your carefully constructed deck might start losing cards if you don't actually use them. After all, if you don't play with your friends, why should they hang out with you anymore?


This is always Adam's first suggestion for a game to play. He loved Root last year and this is another great game from the same publisher. The game play is quick and easy once you have the iconography down. This one will take a bit more effort to learn, but worth it!

In Miraris, you gaze into an antique mirror, a strange and wonderful land comes into focus. A world of mystery and dreams awaits within the reflection. But, you're not alone; another figure stands beside you. Discover the secrets of the Dream World, reflected in the antique mirror, as you explore its many Wonders. The Wonders, however, can only be visited by one person at a time. You will need to think carefully about where you wish to visit, as other visitors may make the same choice -- leaving you both without entry. But if you make it through, bountiful rewards await.


At its core, Miraris is a bidding game. We are not huge fans of bidding games, but this one is a lot of fun. The game is incredibly easy to learn, though the helper characters throw people off in their first game. Here's a tip, we always deal out one to everyone if it is someone's first game instead of choosing between two. The game is quick, tiny, and oh so fun. It is very different at low and high player counts but still great fun for everyone. This one does need at least three players, so keep that in mind.

Incan gold is an award-winning game in which players push their luck as they head into a ruined temple, attempting to find the most jewels. Each turn, a card is turned over that increases the gold found in a temple or shows a HAZARD. Players can attempt to escape, keeping the loot that they've acquired, or stay in the temple, hoping for increased profits. As players escape, those in the temple will acquire bigger shares of each pile of gold found, but also run the risk of dying if the same HAZARD card is drawn twice. The tension mounts as players decide whether or not to stay or leave the temples. Up to eight people can play this game, making it a great game for parties and other gatherings. With quality components and a compelling theme, Incan gold will be the first choice of large groups looking for a fun filled game.


Yeah, this is an old one. It is so fun though! We have not met a person that did not "get" this game. We first started playing it on Board Game Arena and got hooked. Learn more about BGA in this post. It has turned into our go to game event game because it is so engaging and simple. Plus it has that push your luck excitement too. This one will also need three players.

Glen More II: Chronicles takes your clan from the early Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, trying to expand your territory and wealth. Will your clan become the most successful in Scottish history? The success of your clan depends on your skills to make the right decisions - by cultivating barley for whisky production, by selling your goods to the various markets, by friendships with clans in the Scottish highlands or by taking control over special sights such as lakes and castles. Win the game and let your clan stand over all others.


This is a big box game in all aspects of the phrase. It is a great next step game if you are a fan of tile laying games like Carcassonne. It has a rondel system for selecting your tiles that I personally enjoy. If you want to splurge on a big game this year, consider Glen More II. The mini expansions inside mean the game will change and grow as you play and at your own desired rate. With a dab of so many types of game mechanics, it provides something for almost everyone without coming across as disjointed.


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